This album has something in common with only two other LPs I have ever come across. Those are “Let It Bleed” by the Rolling Stones and “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” by the Byrds. The feature in question is that the first and last tracks of the record are excellent, but everything in between is mediocre. In the case of “Penguin”, anyone following the group would sadly miss Danny Kirwan. He, I think, was the last of the genuinely talented people to be in the band, though of course he was in it in 1971 for the dreary “Future Games”; nobody’s perfect.
“Penguin” is dated January 1973. It might be recalled that we are in the closing stages of a comparison between Fairport Convention and Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s. This period is therefore of some interest to nerds like me [is there any other nerd like me?], as within a month later, Fairport Convention released the peculiar “Rosie” album [see above]. That band had really ceased to exist in 1972, the year when Fleetwood Mac produced the brilliant “Bare Trees” [see just above].
Anyway, with the next post we start on the “Penguin” tracks.